An Olive Branch to Memory

Everything we perceive, even for a fleeting moment, is committed—in tiny pieces across various parts of the brain—to memory. When a memory is called back up, it might be 100% accurate. Or it might not be. Pieces are jumbled like ornament hooks. A poem becomes entangled with the image of an old friend and catches on a jagged feeling of embarrassment. The sound of a church bell elicits from our feet a pause. Two faces converge into one person, two stories blend. And whole parts are left out altogether. Then we have a less accurate memory, more of a dream, an idea, a part of a story, or a sense that something specific has happened, a long time ago or just yesterday. Despite the fact that memory is at times my nemesis, I often think, what a fantastic world memory allows us to inhabit.